Business Bitesize: working with Paul Shrimpling

Paul ShrimplingPaul Shrimpling runs Remarkable Practice, a consulting business which helps accountants to become more successful at what they do.

Four years ago he set up a subscription newsletter service called What’s Possible In Your Business.

Accountants pay a monthly fee to licence a pre-written 4-page summary of a brilliant business book. Paul’s team adds the accountant’s logo, and prints copies which accountants can give out to their clients and prospects. Paul’s team will even handle the emailing of the newsletter to the accountant’s email list and later report on who has opened the email so the accountant can follow those people up with a phone call.

Remarkable Practice sells the licence on a territory basis, so only one accountant in a large town can send out the newsletter.

It’s a great idea but, over the next 3 years, What’s Possible made a loss or broke even.

This is what it looked like, with the issue on the left referring to the book Built To Sell by John Warrillow, and the issue on the right referring to the book Switch by Chip and Dan Heath…

What's Possible In Your Business

Paul came to me to ask my advice. To cut a long story short, I said he needed to stop doing book summaries and focus instead on solving real problems that businesses experience on a day-to-day basis. I suggested a new name: Business Bites, and Paul refined this to Business Bitesize.

Together we wrote a long list of pressing problems that small businesses had, then ranked them in order of importance. Then we crafted a series of headlines which we believed would grab readers’ attention and compel them to read the entire issue. For example: “How to use the power of storytelling to increase sales revenue” and “Working hard? Feel like you’re getting nowhere? Here’s how to make the most of every day…”

I came up with a new graphical design with high quality strong, black images to feature on the cover. The ‘spot’ colour would match the main colour from each accountant’s logo.

I worked with my favourite designer, Wendy Barratt, to produce the final artwork.

It now looks like this…

BBS four different issues 640

Here’s how Paul and his team customise each issue for each accountant who has the licence. You can see that Andrew Price & Co’s issues (third from the right) use a blue which matches their logo, so the spot colour of the pull-out box on the front cover is a 15% tint of that blue…

Business Bitesize issues in a row 640

Here’s the sales pack I wrote and designed for Paul…

BBS sales letter montage

I’ll now show you some of the sheets in detail. Business Bitesize is a complex sale, so I wrote short punchy copy with arrows pointing to the customised elements that Paul’s team added to make each issue look like it was created by that firm of accountants. This sheet shows the issue Paul’s team created for a firm of accountants called Pentlands in Warwick…

BBS arrows pointing 640

Here’s the other side of that sheet, which shows the customised online library page so clients of each accountancy firm can download back issues, and more…

BBS online library 640

I also created this next sheet where I added a stapled slip to explain the personalisation with words attributed to Paul’s wife, Kate, who sells Business Bitesize on a day-to-day basis…

BBS in hand

Since working with me, Paul has quadrupled his number of subscribers, generating an additional £41,000 (US$63,000) a year of income, most of which is profit.

He believes he can generate a further £40,000 of new subscriptions by the end of his financial year.

Here is a photo of the two of us in my home on our most recent consulting day…

Chris Payne and Paul Shrimpling on a consulting day 640

And here is a photo of a beautiful card Paul sent me a few days after our day together…

Chris Payne with owl card from Paul Shrimpling cropped 640

It reads:

“To Chris, ‘My wise “old” owl’. Thank you for your guidance, passion and commitment to our cause… it’s truly fabulous having you on our side. Much love and respect, Paul & Kate”

I was very touched to read that message.

Paul recorded this video testimonial…

On the video Paul says the following:

“I have known Chris for a long time. If I’ve got a doubt or a question, he is the guy I turn to. If you are a business advisor or a consultant and you have a kernel of an idea, or you’ve been playing around with the idea for creating a product, you’d be a bit of a numpty not to go to Chris.”

 

It’s unlikely that you have a printed newsletter: you’re more likely to have a paid-for ebook or a set of audios/videos. But see what lessons you can glean from the work I did with Paul above.

For example, could you ‘polish’ up the presentation by using better graphics?

Could you contact buyers to get more testimonials, or more specific testimonials?

Whatever… see if you can come up with one action step you can implement as a result of reading this article.

chrispayne

Chris Payne helps clients design winning products, designs sales funnels, rewrites all sales copy, provides webinar critiques, designs high-end mastermind programs, and more.